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Kyrgyzstan Wants Business Partner Of Ex-President's Son Arrested

Yevgeny Gurevich
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz interim government is seeking to arrest the former head of the powerful MGN Group, Yevgeny Gurevich, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Acting Deputy Prosecutor-General Kuban Asangeldiev told RFE/RL that Gurevich is wanted for possible involvement in embezzling money that he said was organized by former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's son, Maksim.

The MGN Group has been involved in the Kyrgyz investment market since 2008. It has numerous holdings, including banks, and was one of Kyrgyzstan's most powerful conglomerates before the April 7 uprising that led to the fall of Bakiev's government.

MGN was also a major partner of Kyrgyzstan's Agency for Investment and Economic Development, which Maksim Bakiev directed.

Both Maksim Bakiev and Gurevich -- a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Kyrgyzstan -- deny having had business ties with each other.

Italian authorities announced in March that Gurevich was wanted for alleged embezzlement from an Italian communications company. He announced afterwards that he was temporarily stepping down as president of MGN Group. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The Prosecutor-General's Office opened a criminal case against Maksim Bakiev last week for alleged abuse of power and embezzlement.

Kyrgyz investigators said Bakiev last year placed $35 million of a $300 million Russian loan to Kyrgyzstan in several Kyrgyz banks that he controls. Kyrgyz officials said the rest of the loan from Moscow was used by Gurevich's MGN Group to buy stocks on international markets.

The acronym MGN is thought by many to stand for Maksim, Gurevich, and Nadel, the last name of another businessman, Mikhail Nadel.